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College Students Decide: Choosing a Major and a Minor

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Choosing a major and a minor primarily depends, of course, on the individual preference; majors and minors reflect the individual student’s interests and goals. Because of this, making such a choice is probably the easiest and one of the most engaging steps when planning on going to college, and, for high schools, this is usually explored during their senior year. Of course, interests and aspirations change over time, and many students have changed their programs quite a few times back and forth during their tenures in college.

This would not seem like a problem regarding anything except when it comes to making up one’s mind. Some college students go ‘undecided’ for their first two years, but are forced to make a decision upon their third year so they can focus on devising their class schedules comprised of courses reflecting their respective majors and minors, which starts at beginning of junior year.

The real problem when it comes to deciding a major and a minor is determining the particular school, but majors and minors are different everywhere. Furthermore, certain schools have better programs in a given discipline or field than in others. If students know beforehand in which major or minor they want to go, they are advised to look around at the schools that boast impressive programs for that major. Even more complex is finding just the right school that can match up a desire major with a desired minor. One school with a desired major might not have the desired minor. This research process can be exasperating and time-consuming, but it is necessary for the serious student.

Then, of course, is the concern as to whether or not one will be accepted at that particular university, or selected group of universities. Sometimes students are denied, in which case a secondary or tertiary choice is made and so on. This is tedious and time-consuming as well.

Of course, one cannot forget the unavoidable—and most important—consideration of all: the cost. Some universities cost more than other, so this also has to play into the major/minor decision. This is why students looking into their ideal university have to naturally find the most economic, especially if their financing is based on grants and student loans, which, for students under 23, go by guardian income for the previous year. Financial aid for those over 23 is determined by the student’s income for the previous year. That is why costs should be researched first, but within the selected group of schools representing the student’s desired major and minor.

So, see, choosing a major and minor is not that simple, as it involves many contingencies and many factors that, when combined, paint the big picture. Visiting each university beforehand, if possible, would be a great idea so the student can become familiar with the surroundings. Most of all, talking to counselors can provide a springboard for the student from the point-of-view of several professionals, which adds to the mix even more but offers the students the full necessary information on each school to answer all questions and fill in every hole. This way, although the process consists of gas money, appointing-scheduling and traveling, everything is covered.


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